The Info List - Olympic Studios

Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
is an early 20th-century building in Barnes, London, which, after four years of closure, re-opened on 14 October 2013 as the new home for the Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
cinema. As well as a two-screen cinema, the building includes a café and dining room, a members' club and a recording studio.[1] The building at 117 Church Road in Barnes was constructed in 1906 as Byfeld Hall, a theatre for the Barnes Repertory Company, and was a cinema for much of the first half of the century, before becoming a television studio in the late 1950s. In 1965 it was purchased by Olympic Sound Studios and became a renowned independent commercial recording studio, best known for the many legendary rock and pop recordings made there from the late 1960s onwards. It has been described as the "go-to studio for many of rock and pop's leading lights in the music industry's golden era, from the Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones
and Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
to Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
and The Beatles",[2] and as being of the same importance as Abbey Road Studios.[3] The studio's sound mixing desks eventually became famous in their own right, and were later manufactured commercially. The conversion from film to recording studio was undertaken by architect Robertson Grant and the acoustics completed by Keith Grant and Russel Pettinger.[4] The studios won Music Week
Music Week
magazine's award for best recording studio five times. After forty years and a succession of owners, the studio's earlier facilities were closed by the EMI
and Virgin Group
Virgin Group
in 2009. However, Olympic has now been converted into an independent local cinema incorporating reminders of its own history, including a new studio designed with the help of original members of the studio's staff.[5] Also in line with its audio tradition, Olympic's cinema is now the only one in London employing a new form of state-of-the-art Flare Audio cinema sound.[6]


1 Early days 2 History of Olympic Studios 3 Associations 4 Artists at Olympic Studios, 1966-2009, includes 5 References 6 External links

Early days[edit] After its earliest days, the building became a theatre briefly again in the 1920s: actors who played there included John Gielgud
John Gielgud
and Claude Rains.[7] Between the 1930s and the postwar era, it returned to its original function as a cinema. In its first decade it was notable for being one of the venues associated with the bioscope, an early form of cinema combined with music hall and large instrumentation.[8] In the 1950s the building became television production studios. History of Olympic Studios[edit] The first home of Olympic Sound Studios was in central London in the late 1950s. It was owned by Angus McKenzie, who had purchased Larry Lyons's Olympia Studio in Fulham. McKenzie then took a lease on a derelict synagogue building at Carlton Street, off Baker Street in London's West End.[9] In conjunction with Richard Swettenham, McKenzie opened Olympic's Studio One with a tube recording console from Olympia Studio.[10] The studio first came to prominence in 1958; its senior sound engineer was John Timperley, who was responsible for a large number of recordings which made the top ten in the Melody Maker ratings. In 1962 Terry Allen joined the company as an electronic engineer, assisting Dick Swettenham with his new transistorised sound desk. John Timperley's assistant was Roger Savage, who quickly gained a reputation as a particularly good sound balancer. Terry Allen soon became studio manager and was instructed by Angus McKenzie to dismiss Timperley late in 1962. Keith Grant had worked at Olympic on a casual basis for some time, and was offered the position of senior sound engineer late in 1962. Dick Swettenham designed the first professional transistorised desk in the world, which was installed into Studio One during 1960, along with the first Four track tape recorder in England.[10] Apart from Roger Savage, several other young staff gained their start at Olympic. Gus Dudgeon began as a tape operator and when he left Olympic became associated with Elton John, as his producer. Another successful employee was Michael Ross-Trevor, who eventually joined CBS Records, at the start of a long career in classical music recording. Studio One was used by many influential British groups including The Yardbirds, The Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Experience, Alexis Korner
Alexis Korner
and Graham Bond.[11] The Rolling Stones[12] recorded their first single "Come On" at Olympic; a number of Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield
hits and The Troggs' successful single "Wild Thing" were also the result of recording sessions at Olympic during the forty-year history of the studio. Olympic was a popular studio with Decca, EMI, Pye and Philips recording A&R staff, as well as hosting London Weekend Television's music recordings.[13] After being notified in 1964 that the lease on the Carlton Street premises would not be renewed, in 1965 McKenzie sold his share of the business to Cliff Adams and John Shakespeare. They then moved it to new premises in Barnes, with the guidance of Grant, when the lease ran out in 1966. Keith Grant oversaw the development of the new studios, bringing in his father Robertson Grant, an architect, to assist.[14] Engineer Eddie Kramer
Eddie Kramer
recalled: " Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
in 1967 was at the cutting edge. We were very innovative and of course we had, I think, the best console in England and possibly the world at the time".[15] "We were ahead in terms of design."[16] The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones
were among the first clients of the new Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
in Barnes, consecutively recording six of their albums there between 1966 and 1972.[4] The Beatles worked at the studio to record the original tracks of "All You Need Is Love",[15] having been happy with their time there recording "Baby, You're a Rich Man". Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
recorded for his Are You Experienced album at Olympic, and of his Axis: Bold as Love and Electric Ladyland
Electric Ladyland
albums, all of the former and a substantial part of the latter were recorded at the studio. The Who
The Who
recorded their albums Who's Next
Who's Next
and Who Are You. It was used extensively by Led Zeppelin, who recorded tracks there for all of their studio albums up to and including Physical Graffiti
Physical Graffiti
in 1975. In the same year Queen used the studio for their album A Night at the Opera while David Bowie
David Bowie
also used the studio. The studio also saw the production of great numbers of other landmark albums and singles, including by The Small Faces, Traffic, Blind Faith, Hawkwind, The Moody Blues, Deep Purple, and Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale".[13] In 1969 Grant again commissioned his father, this time to re-design Studio Two, as the now working and unexpectedly popular studio was causing problems with sound transmission to Studio One. Studio One, for example, might be recording classical music by Elgar
while Studio Two would be hosting sessions with the Rolling Stones. Robertson Grant successfully innovated a completely floating space, weighing seventeen tons, which was supported by rubber pads. The décor and furnishing of the new Studio Two was designed by Mick Jagger.[14] Later on, Grant added probably the first instant acoustic change, using rough sawn wooden slats which could cover or reveal sound-absorbing panels behind them and thus change the acoustics. This made the room suitable for the recording of both rock and orchestral music at the pull of a cord.[10] By the turn of the 1970s, many orchestral works and film scores and the original album version of the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar were being recorded at Olympic. The studio produced film music for, among others, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1968), The Italian Job (1969), the movie version of Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar
(1973), The Rocky Horror Picture Show, recorded in Studio Two in 1975, and Life of Brian in 1979. Olympic's sound mixing desks were a creation of the maintenance staff and built specially for the studios. They became famous as Olympic desks[17] and were developed by Dick Swettenham, Keith Grant and later Jim McBride in conjunction with Jim Dowler. Swettenham later started to manufacture the consoles commercially as Helios desks. The first desk of this type was commissioned by Grant as Helios One for Studio Two. Olympic desks and their Helios offspring are highly regarded for their sonic qualities today.[18] In 1987, Virgin Music
Virgin Music
bought the studios. After consulting with Sam Toyoshima, a Japanese studio builder who declared the studio "unfit to record music in", the property was refitted to a different practical and acoustic specification.[12] Barbara Jefferies, then Studio manager for Virgin Music
Virgin Music
at Olympic Studios,[19] instructed that the master tapes of the studio's vast library of recording sessions be discarded.[20] The disposal of these tapes was unsecured as they were put into skips outside the building and left for days, and some ended up as highly sought-after bootlegs.[21] The studio continued to attract many leading artists during the period of the 1990s and 2000s, including Madonna and Björk. For many years, copyright problems with the use of the word "Olympic" prevented the history of the studio from being more widely promoted, which became an important factor behind the greater public recognition of its arch-rival Abbey Road Studios, which was promoted by EMI, over Olympic.[22] In December 2008, the Virgin EMI
group announced that the longstanding studio facilities would be closed,[23][24] and in February 2009 the studios were confirmed closed.[18] In the absence of any studio buyer, in the era of computer-based recording, it was at first thought Olympic would lose its musical and cinematic connection and be redeveloped as flats and shops.[25] However, in 2013 a new smaller studio facility opened at Olympic, designed with the help of original members of the studio, and envisaged to continue operating alongside its original role as cinema, which has also recommenced in line with its history and with the help of studio staff, using the latest audio cinema techniques.[5] Associations[edit] Olympic is known for the quality of the recordings produced in its studios, and as a training ground for many successful producers, technicians and engineers, such as:

George Chkiantz, who is credited with inventing the technique of phasing on The Small Faces' "Itchycoo Park".[26] Glyn Johns and his brother Andy Johns, best known for their association with The Rolling Stones.[13] Gus Dudgeon, who started as a tea boy and became producer for Elton John.[13] Roger Savage, who recorded the first Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones
hit "Come On", before moving to Australia, where he became a highly successful engineer, then moving into post-production sound recording with his own company, Soundfirm, which has studios in Melbourne, Sydney, and Bejiing.[27][28] Eddie Kramer, Olympic staff engineer who recorded Jimi Hendrix, and is still involved with the post production of his work.[29] Chris Kimsey, best known for his work with The Rolling Stones
Rolling Stones
as producer, and now back at Olympic.[30] Jimmy Miller, producer of albums and singles by Family, Traffic, Blind Faith and The Rolling Stones.[31] Richard Swettenham, best known for his Olympic console design.[32] Roger Mayer, best known for his guitar pedals.[33] David Treahearn, Assistant Engineer, now Songwriter, Mixer & Producer with DNR and half of electro duo The Slips.[34] Toby Alington, who now has Richmond Studios Productions as his organisation.[35] Gerry O'Riordan, best known for his recording and editing skills.[36] David Hamilton-Smith, best known for his association with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.[37] Terry and Phill Brown, producers of The Who's "Substitute", and Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff".[38][39] Paul PDub Walton, best known for work with Björk
and Madonna.[40] Doug Bennett, best known for his work with the Stranglers.[41] Phil Chapman, film and theatre audio producer. Laurence Burrage, producer for XTC.[42] Alan O'Duffy, best known for his work with the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
& Rod Stewart.[43][44]

Artists at Olympic Studios, 1966-2009, includes[edit]

This section needs expansion with: See Talk:Olympic Studios#Items for the Artist roster, 1966-2009 section, when they have citations for suggestions. You can help by adding to it. (August 2012)

808 State[45] Roger Alborough[46] Adele Lily Allen Arctic Monkeys[47] Babyshambles[48] Corinne Bailey Rae[49] Shirley Bassey The Beatles[50] BB King[51] Tony Bennett[52] Elmer Bernstein[53] Björk[54] David Bowie[55] The Buzzcocks David Byrne John Cale Nick Cave Ray Charles[56] Eric Clapton[57] Joe Cocker[58] Elvis Costello The Cult The Cure[59] Sammy Davis Jr[60] Deep Purple[61] Depeche Mode[62] Donovan[63] Dr Feelgood Duran Duran[64] The Eagles[65] The Electric Blues Company Sophie Ellis-Bextor[66] Eric Flynn[46] Editors Brian Eno Faces[67] Fairport Convention[68] Marianne Faithfull[69] Bryan Ferry Ella Fitzgerald Pink Floyd[70] Robert Fripp Funkadelic Peter Gabriel Goldfrapp[71] Delta Goodrem Hawkwind The Jam[72] The Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Experience[73] The Hives[74] Edmund Hockridge[46] Howlin' Wolf[75] Humble Pie[76] INXS Jethro Tull[77] Judas Priest[78] Kaiser Chiefs Berwick Kaler[46] Kasabian Keane The Killers The KLF Alexis Korner[79] King Crimson Led Zeppelin[80] Love[81] Madonna Kirsty Maccoll George Martin[82] Massive Attack[83] Paul McCartney[84] Alan Price[85] Steve Miller Band[86] The Moody Blues Van Morrison Morrissey Mott The Hoople[87] The Move[88] Michael Nyman Motörhead Oasis[89] Andy Panayi[46] Peter Frampton Placebo Robert Plant Iggy Pop[90] Billy Preston The Pretenders The Pretty Things Primal Scream Prince Procol Harum[13] Pulp Suzi Quatro[46] Queen[91] Quincy Jones[92] The Rolling Stones[4][12] Roxy Music[93] Sham 69[94] Showaddywaddy Slade[95] The Small Faces[96] Spandau Ballet[97] The Spice Girls[98] Soft Machine Squeeze Cat Stevens[99] Stiff Little Fingers The Stranglers[100] Barbra Streisand[101] Suede[102] Supertramp Ten Years After Thin Lizzy[103] Traffic Pete Townshend U2 The Verve[104] Scott Walker[105] Paul Weller[72] Wishbone Ash[106] The Who Roger Waters Stevie Wonder[107] The Yardbirds[108] The Zombies[109] Matt Zimmerman[46] The Zutons[110]


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Bio Information". O2 Academy Leicester. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ ""Corinne Bailey Rae" - self titled 2 disc cd". fishpond. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 16 October 2013.  ^ "Interview: Engineer Eddie Kramer
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- 1980-1989". Jazzdiscography.com. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Elmer Bernstein'S Film Music Collection - Screen Archives Entertainment". Screenarchives.com. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Voltaic: Live at Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
- Bjรถrk Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "olympic studios". Sound Of The Hound. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ " Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett
and Ray Charles". jazzdiscography.com. Retrieved 18 October 2013.  ^ " Eric Clapton
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- Don't Know Why [ Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
Version][#][*] Lyrics". SongMeanings. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Celebrated Producer Andy Johns Dead at 61". Billboard. 8 April 2013. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ " The Cure
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Concert Setlist at Olympic Studios, London on June 7, 2004". setlist.fm. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Sammy Davis Jnr Recording At Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
Barnes London… News Photo Getty Images UK 109366457". Gettyimages.co.uk. 4 September 1969. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Fireball by Deep Purple
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Olympic Studios
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"Take It Easy" Olympic Sound Studios multi-track tape selling on eBay?* Steve Hoffman Music Forums". Forums.stevehoffman.tv. 27 January 2006. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "The Press Archive @ Sophie-Online.net • Your resource for Sophie Ellis-Bextor articles". Sophie-online.net. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Ronnie Wood - 1957 - 1975". Nzentgraf.de. Retrieved 2015-10-26.  ^ "Fairport Convention: What We Did on Our Holidays". Mainlynorfolk.info. Retrieved 2015-10-26.  ^ Dave Thompson. "As Tears Go By - Marianne Faithfull
Marianne Faithfull
Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Pink Floyd". IMDb.com. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "Goldfrapp.free.fr". Goldfrapp.free.fr. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ a b "Studio Sessions : 15.1 Recording Information" (PDF). Porcelaingod.co.uk. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ " Jimi Hendrix
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at Olympic Studios, London, 1967 Eddie Kramer". Morrisonhotelgallery.com. Retrieved 15 October 2013.  ^ "State Of The Hives
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External links[edit]

Olympic Cinema – official site Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
discography at Discogs

Complete articles

" Olympic Studios
Olympic Studios
closes: A sad day for music". realmusicforum.com. 26 March 2008. Archived from the original on 21 September 2012.  Nick Coleman (1 February 2009). "Olympic Studios". The Independent. Retrieved 13 April 2009.  Keith Grant (23 December 2008). "Olympic Studios". Music Producers Guild (UK). Archived from the original on 21 September 2012. Retrieved 13 April 2009.  Music Week
Music Week
(12 December 2008). "Olympic Studios". Music Week. Retrieved 13 April 2009.  Pro Sound News (12 December 2008). "Olympic Studios". Pro Sound News Europe.com. Retrieved 13 April 2009. 

Coordinates: 51°28′31″N 0°14′27″W / 51.4752°N 0.2407°W / 51.4752; -0.2407

v t e

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames


Barnes East Sheen Fulwell Ham Hampton Hampton Hill Hampton Wick Kew Mortlake Petersham Richmond St Margarets Strawberry Hill Teddington Twickenham Whitton

Railway stations

Barnes Barnes Bridge Fulwell Hampton Hampton Wick Kew
Gardens Mortlake North Sheen Richmond St Margarets Strawberry Hill Teddington Twickenham Whitton

River Thames
River Thames
bridges, islands and river services

Bridges Benn's Island Corporation Island Eel Pie Island Glover's Island Platts Eyot Swan Island Tagg's Island Trowlock Island Hammerton's Ferry Hampton Ferry Kew
Pier Richmond Lock Teddington
Lifeboat Station Teddington
Lock former Twickenham

Other rivers and streams

Beverley Brook River Crane Duke of Northumberland's River Longford River Sudbrook and Latchmere stream River Thames

Sports venues

Athletic Ground, Richmond Barn Elms Playing Fields The Championship Course Cricket clubs and grounds Golf clubs and courses Hampton Pool The Lensbury Pools on the Park Royal Tennis Court, Hampton Court Teddington
Pools and Fitness Centre Thames Young Mariners Twickenham
Stadium Twickenham
Stoop former Ranelagh Club former Richmond Ice Rink


Annual sports events Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Festival Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Flower Show IRB Rugby Aid Match

Breweries and pubs

Britannia, Richmond The Bull's Head The Crown, Twickenham Dysart Arms The Fox, Twickenham The George, Twickenham Hare and Hounds, Sheen Jolly Coopers, Hampton Old Ship, Richmond Park Hotel, Teddington Richmond Brewery Stores Sun Inn, Barnes Twickenham
Fine Ales Watney Combe & Reid White Cross, Richmond The White Swan, Twickenham‎

Theatres, cinemas and music venues

The Bull's Head Crawdaddy Club The Exchange Olympic Studios Orange Tree Theatre Puppet Theatre Barge Richmond Theatre TwickFolk Wathen Hall former Eel Pie Island
Eel Pie Island

Film and recording studios

Astoria The Boathouse, Twickenham Eel Pie Studios Olympic Studios Teddington
Studios Twickenham
Film Studios

Media and publishing

Richmond and Twickenham
Times former Gaydar Radio former Hogarth Press

Historical royal palaces

Hampton Court Palace Kew
Palace Richmond Palace

Other places of interest

123 Mortlake
High Street 14 The Terrace, Barnes 18 Station Road, Barnes 70 Barnes High Street Asgill House Brinsworth House Bushy House Chapel House Chapel in the Wood Clarence House Diana Fountain, Bushy Park Doughty House Douglas House Downe House East Sheen
East Sheen
Filling Station Fulwell bus garage Garrick's Temple to Shakespeare Garrick's Villa Grove House, Hampton Ham House Hampton Youth Project Harrods Furniture Depository Hogarth House The Homestead, Barnes King's Observatory Kneller Hall Langham House Langham House Close Latchmere House Lichfield Court Marble Hill House Montrose House The Naked Ladies National Physical Laboratory Normansfield Theatre The Old Court House Ormeley Lodge Parkleys The Pavilion, Hampton Court Pembroke Lodge Pope's Urn Pope's Grotto Poppy Factory The Queen's Beasts Royal Military School of Music Royal Star and Garter Home St Leonard's Court Strawberry Hill House Stud House Sudbrook House and Park The Terrace, Barnes Thatched House Lodge University Boat Race Stones Victoria Working Men's Club West Hall, Kew White Lodge The Wick Wick House Yelverton Lodge York House


Adana Printing Machines Admiralty Research Laboratory Alcott House Ashe baronets Barnes rail crash Camp Griffiss Cross Deep House GHQ Liaison Regiment Hampton Court Conference Kew
Letters Mortlake
Tapestry Works Mount Ararat, Richmond Murder of Amélie Delagrange Murder of Julia Martha Thomas Petersham Hole Pocock baronets Pope's villa Radnor House Richmond Flyers Richmond, Petersham and Ham Open Spaces Act 1902 Ringway 2 Sheen Priory Star and Garter Hotel, Richmond Towpath murders Treaty of Hampton Court (1562) Twickenham
Park Vandeput baronets Warren-Lambert Wigan baronets

Parliamentary constituencies

Richmond Park Twickenham former Richmond and Barnes former Richmond (Surrey)

Other topics

Almshouses Archives, museums and art galleries Cemeteries, crematoria and memorials Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings Hospitals Local government People Places of worship Public art Schools, colleges and universities Sports clubs

Parks, open spaces and nature reserves in the London Borough of Richmond